Oregon antibody study plans to answer big questions about COVID-19

Lee Jin-man/AP

When the first case of community-acquired coronavirus was discovered in Oregon, labs across the state started developing tests to identify people sick with coronavirus. While they were working on testing, a team in the genomics lab at Providence Health Care Services in Oregon also started developing an antibody test (also called a serology test) that could identify people who had gotten sick and then recovered.

Dr. Carlo Bifulco, a pathologist and the medical director at Providence’s genomics lab, says they knew they’d need one eventually. “We don’t know how many people have been infected with coronavirus,” Bifulco says, “and that number is very important for public health reasons.”

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